Monday, 30 March 2009

Lost to a world in which I crave no part

Plan for the Motherwell house.

A bedroom showing the unique floor of inlaid tree sections set in cement.

Robert Motherwell inside his adapted Quonset hut residence in Georgica, 1950 by Hans Namuth.

Internal view of the east facade.

East facade of the Motherwell House, 1985.

Though East Hampton figures briefly in the life of the painter Robert Motherwell, the village played a significant role in shaping his career and his legacy. The youngest, wealthiest, and best educated of the Abstract Expressionists, Motherwell first came to the East End during the summer of 1944 to visit the older Surrealists in exile. A snapshot records the twenty-four-year-old playing chess with Max Ernst outdoors in Amagansett. In the Hamptons, Motherwell met Mark Rothko and other American artists; painted the semi-figurative works The Emperor of China and The Homely Protestant; initiated his most critically acclaimed series, Elegy to the Spanish Republic; and coedited the lone issue of the journal possiblities. Oils featuring linear, somewhat representational forms on ocher-covered surfaces eventually gave way to canvases with larger-scaled, more muscular black and white shapes. After he purchased a four-acre lot at the corner of Georgica and Jericho roads in East Hampton for about $1,200, Motherwell commissioned a house and studio from Pierre Chareau, the French architect who co-designed the Maison de Verre, a Paris landmark of the International Style. Although the architect used two prefabricated Quonset hut kits purchased for $3,000 each, costs mounted when doors, windows, balconies, and flooring had to be made by hand. Motherwell sold the house in 1952. Chareau’s only work in America, it was leveled in 1985. Motherwell later summered in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and spent his last years in Greenwich, Connecticut. In his seventies, he said about his East Hampton period, “I did my best work there.” - written by Phyllis Tuchman for The Parrish Art Museum

Further reading, Robert Motherwell's Life in the Hamptons by Mary Cummings.

Now playing on iTunes: Joan Armatrading - Save Me
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 29 March 2009

More ways to waste time

It would be a crime not to explore the wealth that is Australian cinema. Each decade Australia manages to produce some of the most memorable films of the period (unfortunately the same cannot be said for its music). Along with the internationally well known Mad Max (1979) and the relatively little known, but highly acclaimed, Storm Boy (1976) these were the stars of the 70s:

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Sunday Too Far Away (1975)

The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

My Brilliant Career (1979)

Now playing on iTunes: Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out of My Head
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Would you? Could you?

Well, someone could and did today.
Though on him it looked more of an A-line than a bomber shape.

Now playing on iTunes: Bruce Springsteen - Born In the U.S.A.
via FoxyTunes

More tales from the road

The Wiz

As a way to promote the antiques market (or what's left of it), The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in its finite wisdom is thinking of creating a yellow brick road on Portotobello. Cute? No. Inane? Absolutely.

Now playing on iTunes: Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 27 March 2009

There will be times when the trees will be bare

Winter Landscape, 1972. Etching on paper.

Two Trees, 1999. Etching on paper.

Stanislav Nikireyev (1932-2007), one of the most remarkable masters of modern Russian fine arts. Experts consider his works a unique phenomenon in current landscape art and his etching techniques follow the legacy of the old masters, such as Albrecht Duerer, Rembrandt van Rijn and especially Pieter Brueghel the Elder. - Oleg Nikireyev

Now playing on iTunes: Hubert Laws - The Rite of Spring
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 26 March 2009


When are fake flowers acceptable?



Shame on you Carlos Mota.

Now playing on iTunes: Talk Talk - Such A Shame
via FoxyTunes

All the Russias

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, Russian chemist and photographer, best known for his pioneering work in colour photography of early 20th century Russia. With the support of Tsar Nicholas II, he undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire between 1909-1912, and again in 1915.

After Prokudin-Gorskii's death in 1944, the archive was acquired by the Library of Congress. An exhibition, The Empire That Was Russia : The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated, was held in 2001.

Now playing on iTunes: Earl Wild - Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: II. Adagio sostenuto
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Just as one is thinking...

What's the point?

The Decorator - An un-aired 1965 television pilot produced by Aaron Spelling, starring Bette Davis and Mary Wickes.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

More ways to waste time

A Stolen Life

A Stolen Life (1946)

Twin sisters Kate and Patricia Bosworth (Bette Davis) fall in love with the same man, Martha's Vineyard lighthouse inspector Bill Emerson (Glenn Ford). Patricia steals Bill away from Kate. Heartbroken, Kate returns to her painting. Bill, now unhappily wed, goes to Chile. While he is away, Kate and Patricia go sailing. Patricia is washed overboard leaving behind only her wedding ring. The boat capsizes. When Kate recovers consciousness she (believed to be Patricia because of said ring) is told that Bill is returning from Chile.

A precursor to the darker Dead Ringer (1964).

Now playing on iTunes: Meredith Brooks - Bitch
via FoxyTunes

Shell collecting, literally

Digitate Thorny Oyster - Spondylus ictericus (Reeve, 1856)

Atlantic Thorny Oyster - Spondylus americanus (Hermann, 1781)

Regal Thorny Oyster - Spondylus regius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Jacksonville Shells

Now playing on iTunes: Cole Porter - The Tale of the Oyster
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Trolley dolly

A French two tier pierced metal trolley by Mathieu Mategot, 1956. Dimensions, H:68.5cm W:66cm D:66 cm.
A snip at £2200.

1. trolley dolly -
An often over-painted but nonetheless glamourous and sexy cabin crew member on a commercial airline, so-called because they offer drinks and other refreshments from a trolley pushed down the centre aisle.

Pam Ann - Cabin Service

Now playing on iTunes: Frank Sinatra - Come Fly with Me
via FoxyTunes


A pair of French black and white marble table lamps by Philippe Barbier, c.1970.

Pair of black and white natural-pearl and diamond ear clips, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, once the property of the Duchess of Windsor.

Now playing on iTunes: Sarah McLachlan - Black & White
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Funny because it's true

Louis C.K. on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots. - Louis C.K.

Found via The Errant Aesthete, Nobody's Happy.

Now playing on iTunes: Nina Simone - I Am Blessed
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 16 March 2009

Puts me in mind of...

Bette Davis on Joan Crawford's contribution to fashion - The only thing she has done for fashion is popularised those come fuck me pumps she wears.

Lot 44
A set of twelve circular modern plaster panels
Collection of Gianni Versace
Sotheby's - 18th March, 2009

When you survey the 500 or so objets d'art taken from the Lake Como villa of the late Gianni Versace - which will go under the hammer at Sotheby's in London on Wednesday - you realise he was a man of taste. Appalling taste. - Daily Mail, King of Kitch

Now playing on iTunes: Nina Simone - The Laziest Gal in Town
via FoxyTunes

Shell collecting

Creamware centrepiece or grand platt menage, of two graduated tiers of five shell dishes supported by dolphins surmounted by the seated figure of Ceres (Roman goddess of plenty), on rustic moulded spreading foot, c1785.

Now playing on iTunes: Julie London - Boy on a Dolphin
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Brave new world

Alexander McQueen
Ready to Wear
Fall 2009

Now playing on iTunes: Time Zone featuring John Lydon & Afrika Bambaataa - World Destruction (Single Edit)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 13 March 2009


When is a picture, pretty or otherwise, just a picture and not art?

Affordable Art Fair list of exhibiting galleries.

Now playing on iTunes:
Peter Gabriel - That Voice Again
via FoxyTunes.

Pure theatre

Christian Dior
Haute Couture Collection
Spring-Summer 2009

Now playing on iTunes: Simple Minds - Promised You a Miracle
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 12 March 2009

If Captain Nemo were a landlubber

Nautilus House, Naucalpan, Mexico
by Javier Senosiain of Arquitectura Organica

Now playing on iTunes: Buscemi - Retro Nuevo
via FoxyTunes

Shell collecting

Snail with Nautilus Shell by Jeremias Ritter (Master 1605–06, died 1646) German, Nuremberg. Nautilus shell and silver gilt, c. 1630.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Tiffany Studios lamp, adjustable bronze base with a ribbed foot supporting a polished nautilus shell, excellent original patina, signed Tiffany Studios New York, no. 403, overall, 8"w x 12.5"h.

Now playing on iTunes: Botanica - Swimming in the Ocean at Night
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

More ways to waste time

Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, and Further Tales of the City.

Brian may be wasted, but he makes perfect sense.

1960s Mai Tai menu.

A la Frannie Halcyon, mix with a picher of Mai Tais and add best friend.

Trader Vic's Original Mai Tai recipe -
2 ounces of 17-year old J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice.
Add juice from one fresh lime.
1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao.
1/4 ounce Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup.
1/2 ounce French Garier Orgeat Syrup
Shake vigorously.
Add a sprig of fresh mint

My version -
Large pitcher
Equal parts light and dark rum (both Old Oak)
Lime juice
Orange juice (Tropicana smooth)
Pineapple juice
Splash of grenadine

Now playing on iTunes: Patti LaBelle - Lady Marmalade
via FoxyTunes)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Nought queer as folk

Spoon River Anthology (1915), by Edgar Lee Masters

...the dead have been given one final opportunity to speak to the living in the form of epitaphs. Take a stroll through the graveyard; the words on each tombstone create an image of the way the person's life was lived. Together, these tombstones tell of a community that strove for perfection and goodness and relied heavily on faith - but, things don't always turn out as planned... - Spoon River Anthology - Literary Touchstone Classic

Judge Somers

How does it happen, tell me,
That I who was most erudite of lawyers,
Who knew Blackstone and Coke
Almost by heart, who made the greatest speech
The court-house ever heard, and wrote
A brief that won the praise of Justice Breese
How does it happen, tell me,
That I lie here unmarked, forgotten,
While Chase Henry, the town drunkard,
Has a marble block, topped by an urn
Wherein Nature, in a mood ironical,
Has sown a flowering weed?

Full LibriVox audio.

Now playing on iTunes: Jim Croce - Which Way Are You Goin'
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 9 March 2009

I'm thinking...

Molly Wizenberg's Classic Cheese Soufflé based on a version from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Not nearly as daunting as one would think. Basically, nothing more that a flashy omelet.

Finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
Pinch of cayenne
Bay leaf (remove just after milk has heated through)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)

Visit Epicurious for method.

Now playing on iTunes: Donna Summer - Dinner with Gershwin
via FoxyTunes

Master class

Interior Design: The New Freedom

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel talks with John Saladino, from Duke University's Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive, Lilly Library Film and Video Collection.

Now playing on iTunes: Innocence - Come together
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Out of context...

The most ordinary of things can be quite smart. Such as these Cuban cinema posters.

Now playing on iTunes: Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club
via FoxyTunes

To quote Addison DeWitt - you are too short for that gesture

The Daily Mail's Jan Moir on the Yves Saint Laurent bronzes -

The 18th-century bronze rat and rabbit heads sold at auction in Paris this week are stunning pieces of art.

Valued at £28million, the bronzes are now the subject of a diplomatic tug-of-war as Chinese authorities insist that they were looted in the last century. Never mind the international implications. For me, the bronzes sum up everything you need to know about the fashion industry. For they were previously owned by Yves St Laurent and displayed in the hall of his Parisian apartment.

Fashion designers make even bigger profits than bankers. What does that say about the real value of clothes? If only greed was so last century, too

This, coming from a woman who probably thinks of Jaeger as haute couture, is a little more than laughable. Perhaps, if she could find a coat and skirt that didn't make her look like a sausage her tune would be different.

Now playing on iTunes: Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
via FoxyTunes

More ways to waste time

A Matter of Time (1976)
Based on Maurice Druon's novel The Film of Memory.
Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Featuring Ingrid Bergman, Liza Minnelli, Charles Boyer, Isabella Rossellini, Tina Aumont , and Fernando Rey.

Nina (Liza Minnelli) is a popular film star who, in the midst of a press conference, finds herself remembering her life before her big break, when she worked as a chambermaid at an Italian hotel which had seen better days. In the course of her duties, Nina meets Contessa Sanziani (Ingrid Bergman), an aging and eccentric woman who regales Nina with tales of her glamorous younger days. As the Contessa tells her more stories of her days of wealth and adventure, Nina imagines herself living out the same exciting stories, and soon the Contessa encourages her to find the courage to live out her own dreams.

Druon's character of the Contessa Sanziani was inspired by the real-life Marchesa Luisa Casati, who famously said I want to be a living work of art.

A German dubbed clip of the press confrence scene with Nina (Liza Minnelli).

Now playing on iTunes: Diana Krall - Do It Again
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 7 March 2009

More tales from the road

Well, after twelve years it is time to move on. Lipka's Arcade (the largest on Portobello Road) is going the way of Antiquarius on Kings Road - making way for the generic retail chain. Antiquarius is going to be London's new Anthropologie store. I suspect one of the Lipka buildings will probably end up a Baby Gap. Given the number of crunchy new men on a Saturday pushing those three wheeled things (replete with yoga mat, bags of organic shopping , and screaming child) I am sure they will do a roaring trade.

We'll see if indeed when one door closes another door opens.

One thing is for certain, this is the first and last time anyone will ever see Antropologie and, or, Baby Gap mentioned here.

Now playing on iTunes: Kirsty MacColl - Designer Life
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 6 March 2009


Mrs. de Menil's Liquor Closet
Nest, Fall 2001
Article by Edward Albee
Photographs by Langdon Clay

A little place of bewilderment, as it was described by one of the de Menil's children. Its ocher felt lined door, palest of blue painted papered walls, seamless black concrete floor, and mirrored shelves were created by the couturier Charles James.

Now playing on iTunes: The Shangri-Las - Sophisticated Boom Boom
via FoxyTunes